Series at Arizona State has special meaning

Stanford Athletic Communications

This is more than just a rival series for Stanford's Ashley Hansen; it's a homecoming.

For many girls on my team, playing at Arizona State in Tempe might be just another conference series, but for me, it is so much more than that. I am Ashley Hansen, a born and raised Arizona girl, and this is my last time I'll be playing softball in my hometown.

As a senior this year, I try not to get caught up in talking about my "lasts" -- my last first game, my last conditioning test, my last conference opener. But, I'm not going to lie, this weekend means a lot to me. This is the last time that I will play in front of many of my biggest fans -- my family and friends -- the people that have supported me since day one. I plan on going out there and playing like I always do, as if it were my last time stepping on the field.

This also is a big weekend for Stanford softball. We're taking on the reigning national champions in a three-game series on their home turf. How awesome is the Pac-12 Conference? What better way to prepare for the postseason than to play Top 25 caliber teams every weekend. I live for this type of competition. This competition (not to mention the amazing academics and gorgeous campus) is the reason I decided to play for Stanford.

With only three more series remaining in our regular season, it is almost that time of year again for postseason softball. We look at each day as another chance to get better as a team and to improve our game. Like every team in the country, we have one goal in mind: get to Oklahoma City and win a national championship. Our team has been through its peaks and valleys this season, but for today, we only have one thing on our minds, tonight's game against Arizona State.

I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week (hopefully more if my workload allows) throughout the remainder of the season. I'll include pictures and video blogs, and I hope you'll continue reading!